The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Stacey Turner
“They will come for me, now.” The woman paced the room, her features as stony as the castle walls surrounding them.
Even in middle age, her beauty stunned him—never more so than when the blush of anger colored her cheeks. She chewed her bottom lip slightly, her brown eyes flashing. Gyruri placed his hands on her shoulders, stopping her in her tracks, and lifting her chin so he could meet her gaze. “Come with me. With us. We can be the family we were cheated out of being.”
She waved her hand and continued her pacing. “I am not afraid of death, Gyruri. Not my death anyway. I am sad for my friends, for Katarína, most of all. All she has done is what I’ve asked of her—teaching Petra what she needed to know to survive. How could she foretell what a wicked girl the child would turn out to be?”
“Petra is not wicked. She is a victim. A victim of your father, of the woman who was supposed to care for her, of fate. And mostly, a victim of our own making.” He stepped into her path and folded her into his arms. “I will not apologize for loving you, Erzsébet. No matter what. But I will apologize for what has happened to Petra, and what will happen to you if you stay. Please, come with us.”
“I cannot. I will stay here and give them someone to punish, somewhere to focus their attentions, their blame. You take Petra away from here. You are right. She did not ask to be the illegitimate daughter of two very young fools. Protect her, my love.”
“Always,” he whispered.
She pulled away from him then. “Go. Go now, while there is still time. I will be fine. I am a Báthory after all. György Thurzó wants my land, not my life.”
Four years later…
Gyruri stood staring at Castle Csejte in the distance. The full moon hung behind it, silhouetting the bats flying from the high tower. He could not blame the superstitious peasants who thought it haunted, for surely the sorrow and death within had drenched the walls, seeping their way into the very stones. And now his Erzsébet had joined those ghosts. He’d seen her two nights ago, asking her again to join him. She’d been frightened of him, of what he’d become, what he’d let Petra do to him, and she wanted no part. Her terror and disgust had wounded him deeply. Her death twisted the knife. And while he didn’t blame her for her choice, he didn’t know how he’d survive an eternity without her.
Fiction © Copyright Stacey Turner
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Stacey Turner:
Morbid Metamorphosis: Terrifying Tales of Transformation
Metamorphosis occurs every day as caterpillars become sweet fluttering butterflies, tadpoles become gorgeous frog princes and chameleons become one with the beauty of nature – but you won’t find any of that here.
The transformations you’re about to witness are unnatural, sometimes gruesome and deeply psychological. They will make you question reality and take your mind places it was never meant to go.
Terrifying Tales of Transformation from Greg Chapman * Roy C. Booth & R. Thomas Riley * Terri DelCampo * Dave Gammon * Nancy Kilpatrick * Rod Marsden * Jo-Anne Russell * M.J. Preston * Stacey Turner * Tina Piney * Suzanne Robb * Franklin E. Wales * Donna Marie West * Suzie Lockhart * Cameron Trost * Daniel I. Russell * Simon Dewar * Amanda J. Spedding * Ken MacGregor * Erin Shaw * Gregory L. Norris * Nickolas Furr
Be sure to check out the other fantastic events and peeps participating in
Women in Horror Month 10